End of Part II: scanned version of Part III to come after brief pause

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:32 pm

We have concluded Part II of Bazaz’ commentary on the Gita. We can continue with section three after a brief pause.

BZ text: chap 21: Supreme Among the Scriptures

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:30 pm

Supreme Among the Scriptures
AP~EARING soon after Badrayana’s Brahma Sutras which
vtgorously combated the doctrines not in full accord with the
orthodox system of Indian philosophy, the Bhagavad-Gita
received a cold reception among the Brahmins because it had
given prominence to the Samkhya, refrained from denouncing
it and tried to synthesise various concepts of Indian thought.
The leaders of neo-Brahminism were dissatisfied with the
contents of the Gita and believed that it could not prove help-
ful in propagation of their creed. It seems that both Sri
Krishna and Arjuna felt dejected at the poor estimation of
their work and wanted to make good the “lapse” by revising
their doctrines. So in the Ashvamedha Parvan of the Maha-
bharata epic, Arjuna feigns that he had forgotten the fine
advice given to him at the advent of the War by Sri Krishna
and prays for a fresh lesson to revive the discourse. But
the latter too expresses his inability to draw upon his memory
and repeat what he had said on that fateful occasion. Then
both sit together and produce a new treatise known as the
Anu Gila which excessively extols Brahminism and Brahmins
without giving any quarter to those who hold different views
on religion. There is no indulgence in eclectic thinking or
accommodation for other beliefs. Clearly, it was felt necessary
to offset the effects of the Bhagavad-Gita by the incredibly
shoddy treatise which, however, went into oblivion while the
former received increasing recognition and went from strength
to strength with the passage of time. Read the rest of this entry »

BZ text: chap 20: Murder with Impunity

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:11 pm

Murder with Impunity
IN the Upanishadic schools where free thinking had unlimit-
ed scope, there developed a dangerous doctrine in respect of
the attitude towards moral distinction between good and evil.
An assertion is repeatedly made, particularly in the earlier
Upanishads, that a possessor of Supreme Knowledge has no need
to make any such distinction. One of the passages of Brihad-
aranyaka says: “He (who possesses Supreme Knowledge) is not
overcome by two thoughts; neither the thought “I did wrong”
nor the thought “I did right.” Verily he commands them
both. What he has done and what he has not done do not
bother him.”! Read the rest of this entry »

BZ text: chap 19: Desireless Work

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Desireless Wark
OF the ideas thrown out by the Gita, the one about work
without desire for fruit, is considered to be the profoundest.
In contemporary times the Hindu leaders have lavished fulsome
praises on it for being unique in the domain of thought and
for its potentiality to establish world peace. Dr. Radhakrishnan
thinks that “action done devotedly and whole-heartedly, with-
out attachment to the results makes for perfection”. He goes
to say that “If we act in the spirit of the Gita with detach-
ment and dedication, and have love even for our enemy, we
will help to rid the world of wars.”! Read the rest of this entry »

BZ text: chap 18: Brahminism by Backdoor

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Brahminism by Backdoor
THE high spiritual and moral philosophy propounded by
the author of the Gita in certain parts of the sacred poem
should have led him to dispense with the priestcraft, for the
two, being incompatible, could not co-exist. But we have seen
that, when all is said and done, the author, finally discarding
the various philosophical systems, advises complete surrender
to Ishvara (Lord God) as the means of deliverance. Read the rest of this entry »

BZ text: chap 17: Stand Up and fight

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:29 pm

Stand up and Fight
SHRI Krishna opens his sermon with an exhortation that
Arjuna should give up faint-heartedness and stand up and
fight ;1 he also ends the discourse by warning the Pandava
Prince that it will prove futile on his part to desist from fighting
because nature will constrain him to do so.2
The is commonly accepted by the Hindus as a philosophy of
peace, non-violence, non-attachment, love happiness and toleran-
ce. Throughout the dialogue, Sri Krishna dwells on these human
values and stresses the need for cultivating them to achieve final
liberation (moksha) from the cycle of rebirths: “Who forsaketh
all desires and goeth onwards free from yearnings, selfless and
without egoism-he goeth to peace.”3 “He who is able to
endure here on earth ere he be liberated from the body, the
force born from desire and passion, he is harmonised, he is
the happy man.”4 “He who is happy within, who rejoiceth
within, who is illuminated within, that yogi becoming the
Eternal goeth to the Peace of the Eternal.”5
Speaking about the noble qualities of a devotee, Sri
Krishna says: “He who beareth no ill-will to any being, frien-
dly and compassionate, without rattachment and egoism,
balanced in pleasure and pain and forgiving, ever content,
harmonious, with the self controlled, resolute, with mind and
Reason dedicated to Me, he, My, devotee, is dear to Me.”6
Enumerating the divine properties of the believers, Sri
Krishna includes non-violence, truth, peacefulness, compassion
to living beings, forgiveness, absence of envy and pride among
them. At the same time. harshness and anger are described as
demoniacal properties. Scholars have therefore been at a loss
to understand why Sri Krishna should have so persistently and
vigorously urged Arjuna to abandon his resolve of opposing
the war and take up arms which was bound to end-and in fact
ended-in enormous bloodshed and wholesale destruction.
The inconsistent teachings of Sri Krishna puzzled Arjuna
and he put the pertinent question that if peace, non-violence
and love of all beings be the cherished values of human life,
why should the Divine Mentor instigate the Pandava Prince to
participate in the impending carnage. The Blessed Lord
parries the query and takes up another topic for exposition
keeping poor Arjuna guessing and the future students of the
Gita to answer it for themselves.
Brahmin philosophers and orthodox commentators have,
with arguments, plausible and implausible, tried to show that
there is no inconsistency in the teachings of Sri Krishna, at
any rate so far as the issue of war and peace is concerned.
Mahatma Gandhi concedes that “a literal interpretation of the
Gita lands one in a sea of contradictions” but defends the
thesis of the poem by asserting: Read the rest of this entry »


BZ text: chap 16: Complete Surrender to God

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:21 pm

Complete Surrender to God
IF the author of the Gita has taken into consideration,
more or less, the doctrines of nearly all the renowned systems
of Indian thought, it is not with any intention of accepting
them but only to prove their hollowness and to assert the
reality of Brahman as defined by the Vedanta and the supremacy
of the Personal God (Vasudeva Krishna) as the indestructible
and everlasting force which creates, sustains and destroys the
universe. Even in the earlier parts of the holy poem where
Sri Krishna expatiates on the Samkhya and advises Arjuna to
become a yogi and achieve liberation from samsara (cycle of
rebirths) through Pure Reason and Wisdom, he surreptitiously
brings in the overlordship of the Deity as the Universal Self.
But when, in course of the dialogue, Arjuna’s reason is eclipsed,
his emotions stirred and his imagination excited, he becomes
increasingly interested in the Vedic religion and its rituals.
This affords the opportunity to Sri Krishna gradually to come
out more outspokenly with the cherished doctrine that he
wants to popularize. Then all other theories are either thrown
into shadow or fiercely opposed and maximum stress is laid on
the existence of Brahman as the reality behind the illusion of
the universe. Finally, the Gita ends up with the creaking
peroration that the highest truth lies in complete surrender to
God Who alone can liberate man.
Read the rest of this entry »


BZ text chap 15: War on Non-Believers

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:09 pm

War on Non-Believers
RELYING on the pronouncement made by Sri Krishna in the
fourth canto tbat “however men approach Me even so do I
welcome them; for the path men take from every side in
Mine” and one or two such other statements elsewhere in the
poem, Hindu leaders have claimed that the Gila has besides
synthesising all ancient systems of Indian philosophy, founded
the most tolerant religion for mankind. Undoubtedly.
when the author of the poem asseverates that all paths lead to
the same goal, there should exist no enmity between any two
schools of thought however divergent they may be in their
approach to human problems. With such healthy outlook
all religions can co-exist with no reason for being hostile to-
wards each other. Read the rest of this entry »


BZ text chap 14: Contradictions and inconsistencies

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:05 pm

Contradictions and Inconsistencies
IN trying to achieve the impossible objective of reconciling
the irreconcilable doctrines of the Samkhya and the Vedanta,
the author of the Gita landed himself in a position where he
has to be repetitive, contradictory, incoherent and inconsistent.
Any close examination of the poem reveals the fact that there is
hardly any single theory which has been upheld throughout.
The statements made in the earlier parts of the scripture are
rejected subsequently and the principles and practices
renounced in the beginning are commended and even ordained
later on. “For a logical, related, consistent, systematic and
coherent interpretation, the poem presents a number of
difficulties”, feels G.S. Khair, a devoted scholar of the Gita.
“The whole poem has the outward appearance of unity but
discloses contradictions on critical scrutiny. Very few indeed
might be able to interpret the Gita as a whole in a satisfactory
way.”l Read the rest of this entry »


BZ text, chap 13: Synthesizing Diverse Concepts

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:26 pm

Synthesising Diverse Concepts
IN pursuance of the Upanishadic saying eko sat viprah
bahuda vadante (That which exists is one ; sages call it by
various names), the author of the Gita has taken pains to synthe-
sise the different doctrines which were prevalent in the Indian
society of his time in order to show that basically they do not
contradict each other. Traditionally, the poem is considered
to be the essence of the U panishadic doctrines. In the introduc-
tion (dhyanam) to the Gita it is stated: “All the Upanishads are
cows, the milker is Krishna, (the cowherd boy), Partha (Arjuna)
is the calf; men of purified intellect are the drinkers, milk is
the supreme nectar of the Gita.”!
The Hindu writers generally are, however, of the opiruon
that the Gita has successfully produced a comprehensive synthe-
sis of all the systems which had been developed in the country
since the Vedic times. Read the rest of this entry »


BZ text: chap 12: The Skilful Mentor

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:34 pm


The Skilful Mentor

THE social malaise generated by the defeat of the Buddhist

Revolution gave rise to several knotty problems which the
author of the Bhagavad-Gita was called upon to solve. In the
dialogues between Arjuna and Sri Krishna these problems are
brought up one by one and dexterously tackled with the main
purpose of mopping up the surviving revolutionary elements in
the country.
Read the rest of this entry »


BZ text: chap 11: The bewildered intellectual

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:57 pm


The Bewildered Intellectual

IN the history of the world, wars have been fought with
different aims, territorial acquisition being only one of them.
Read the rest of this entry »


Bazaz text cont’d: Part 2, chap. 10: The Author and His times

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:44 pm

Bazaz text continued:
The Teachings of the Bhagavad Gita
The Author and his Time

AT the beginning of the Christian Era, Indian society was
in a state of flux. Buddhism was on the decline and counter-
revolutionary forces were marching ahead in long strides.
Although the Brahmins had been able to stage a comeback to
a position of eminence and power they did not feel sure of
their ultimate success. So long as the Indian intelligentsia or
even a substantial part of it entertained a lingering faith in the
rationalist-materialist philosophy which gave birth to the
heterodox creeds like Buddhism and Jainism, the Brahmins
could not afford to lie on the oars or be complacent. The
Brahmin doctrines and dogmas had, under the altered condi-
tions, crystallised in the Vedanta philosophy which though
comprehensively explained and discussed in a number of
Upanishads, demanded further clarification to convince the
questioning elite. Badrayana did his best to meet this need by
producing the Brahma Sutras but his work proved insufficient
to carry conviction.
Read the rest of this entry »


Sufism, chomsky, sheiks: some posts at darwiniana

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:58 pm




A short pause in posting

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:37 pm

The point of this book by Bazaz is the question: what really happened in Indian history? The question is all important, and no scholar seems able to answer it, and the result is confusion, and the propagands of neo-brahminism.

I am going to pause at the end of section 1 which is complete on its own, and then maybe do the second section on the Gita itself.